This diet promotes frailty and depression -

Avoid inflammatory diets

There is a link between depression, diet and the development of frailty. A diet that promotes inflammation appears to contribute to an increase in symptoms of depression and frailty. These effects even seem slightly more pronounced in people with depression.

A new study involving experts from Harvard Medical School examined the association between a pro-inflammatory diet and the onset of frailty in people with and without clinically relevant depressive symptoms.

The results were published in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

More than 1,700 participants surveyed

The study analyzed data from the so-called Framingham Offspring Study. At the start of the study, 1,701 participants without frailty symptoms were asked to provide information about their diet and their depressive symptoms.

Subsequently, medical supervision took place for a period of about eleven years. After this period, the frailty status was reassessed, the team explains.

What exactly is fragility?

Frailty is particularly common in older people. The condition refers to a decline in function in several physiological systems that affects approximately 10-15% of older adults and often occurs in conjunction with other health issues (such as depression).

weakness due to poor diet

According to experts, diet is believed to contribute significantly to the development of frailty. Previous studies have found an association between pro-inflammatory diets including artificial trans fats, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats and the risk of developing frailty.

The new research, however, is one of the first studies to attempt to understand the precise links between depression, diet-induced inflammation and frailty, the team reports.

Depression amplifies the effects of inflammation

Experts found that the association between an inflammatory diet and an increased risk of frailty was slightly stronger in participants with depressive symptoms.

Higher Inflammation Scores in Depressive Symptoms

Based on these results, the researchers hypothesized that people with depressive symptoms generally had higher levels of inflammation. Then, when one consumes a diet that promotes inflammation, it accelerates the development of frailty, the team theorizes.

"This study found that depressive symptoms can exacerbate the development of frailty in response to consuming a pro-inflammatory diet," study author Dr. Courtney L. Millar said in a statement. Press.

Protection against brittleness by flavonoids

"This suggests that a diet rich in anti-inflammatory compounds (such as fiber and plants called flavonoids) may help prevent the development of frailty," she adds.

According to the expert, the study data indicates that middle-aged adults who consume pro-inflammatory diets are more likely to develop symptoms of depression and frailty at the same time.

The Mediterranean diet protects against frailty

In two previous research papers involving Dr. Millar, however, has already discovered that consuming a Mediterranean diet can prevent the development of frailty.

Additionally, the team reports that a study published in May in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a pro-inflammatory diet increases the risk of developing frailty.

Important fruits and vegetables for people with depression

It may be even more important for people with depression to increase their fruit and vegetable intake, says Dr. Mille. The expert attributes this to the fact that fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, flavonoids and other antioxidants. (as)

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Courtney L Millar, Alyssa B Dufour, James R Hebert, Nitin Shivappa, Olivia I Okereke et al. Association of a pro-inflammatory diet with the onset of frailty in adults with and without depressive symptoms: results from the Framingham offspring study; in: The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (published 07/13/2022), The Journal of Gerontology: Medical SciencesHebrew SeniorLife Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research: Depression Linked to Consuming an Inflammatory Diet, Increasing the risk of frailty ( published 2022/07/19), Hebrew SeniorLife Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.